The Gentry Public Library will officially open next week in a "new" 8,000-square-foot facility that cost about $1.3 million. They kept the historic flavor of the town's Main Street by renovating the 1902 Carl's Hardware building, and patrons can read comfortably or surf the 'net under the original high ceilings with pressed tin.
The library is also bringing the community into the 21st Century by providing free wireless internet, not only in the library and the adjacent pocket park, but throughout downtown 24 hours a day within a two-block area of the library. Little Debbie aka McKee Baking donated three free access points and assigned a technician to install the wi-fi system.
It is good to see a community in Benton County combining the best of the past and the promise of the future. They often do just the opposite.